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Artist Profile: Hans de Castellane

“I never thought I was ‘good’ at art,” laughs Hans de Castellane. “I used to wonder why everyone else wasn’t ‘good’ at it. I suppose it’s like learning cursive.” The painter and muralist got his jumpstart right here on the Cape, only a few miles from his front door. “The first person to notice my aptitude was my grandmother. She signed me up for paint lessons when I was six with local artist, Eileen Smith. Her teaching has impacted me even to this day; the illustrative work that I do of local architecture is very detail-oriented, where I obsess over window sills and shingle shadows. The art that intrigues me the most, what I think draws people in, is the detail. When you keep looking at it, do you see something new?”

Days Cottages • Acrylic on canvas • 48″ x 12″

Those early days were formative for what has culminated in de Castellane’s signature style, where the smallest detail can have the greatest impact. “I can remember the first time I received a compliment on my artwork,” he continues. “I was in kindergarten at Maple Hill in Brewster. I drew a car; my father was a mechanic, so I grew up surrounded by old British sports cars. I remember the drawing getting passed around, and one of the teachers said, ‘Look, you put in the tire treads.’ And I thought, ‘Well, why wouldn’t you put in the tire treads?’”

To start, de Castellane satiated his creative streak in a practical manner, as many young artists are wont to do. “At art school I refined the craft I was good at, but my degree is actually in Communication Design, frankly, because I didn’t know anybody who made money as a painter,” he reveals. “I was good at it, but was bogged down in the minutiae of type and font. I…



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